The EU CAP damages developing economies – and ours

We are still paying £11.3 billion a year to be part of a club which cuts the disposable income of the neediest in our society.

David Cameron Europe

We are still paying £11.3 billion a year to be part of a club which cuts the disposable income of the neediest in our society

Not a week goes by in domestic politics without the Labour Party referring to the cost of living crisis, or the Tories banging on about the European Union.

Whilst these seem like very different issues, they overlap when the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is considered.

Whether you agree with the coalition’s programme of austerity or not, it is incontrovertible that the poorest in society have had to tighten their belts in recent years.

There are plenty of ideas for how to deal with the cost of living crisis, from raising the minimum wage to freezing energy prices. 

One of these yet to catch on is for Britain to withdraw from the EU including from its CAP mechanism, which forces food prices to escalate right across the EU.

The CAP was originally designed in the 1950s to prop up the French agricultural industry by granting subsidies to farmers in order to keep them in profit, despite their inefficiency. In 2012, €56 billion was spent on this, making up 41 per cent of the EU’s total budget.

More importantly, the CAP introduces a tariff against food being imported from the rest of the world. This drives up prices and cuts into the disposable income of British citizens who are forced to spend more on food.

Estimates for how much the price of our food is affected by this vary greatly, but most fall within the region of a 14-17 per cent increase.

By discouraging us from buying produce from developing countries, the EU is effectively preventing African countries with agriculture-based economies from selling to Europe.

Moreover, the CAP inevitably leads to the overproduction of farm produce with the surplus – which cannot be sold in the EU – being sold on the cheap to the developing world, undercutting local producers.

This arrests the growth of these countries’ economies and blocks their citizens climbing out of poverty.

The CAP’s negative effects could be overlooked if the policy helped our struggling agricultural producers and sustained British jobs and pay packets.

However, only 7 per cent of the CAP budget is granted to British farmers, with France getting the lion’s share of 17 per cent. More importantly, with around 80 per cent of the budget going to just 25 per cent of farmers, the CAP is effectively a way to help rich farmers get richer.

Unfortunately, as the only mechanism which keeps the bloated French agricultural system afloat, France will never allow the CAP to be reformed.

Whilst the British people are forced to tighten their belts in these times of austerity, we are still paying £11.3 billion a year to be part of a club which not only cuts the disposable income of the neediest in our society, but also those living in abject poverty in the developing world.

We need to engage in free, fair trade, importing the best food at market value and having our own choice from all around the world. This will lead to a fall in the cost of living for the British public and a rise in profits for producers in the developing world.

This is only possible if we vote to get Britain out of the EU and into the globalised world. Ed Miliband must match David Cameron’s referendum pledge so the electorate can have their say on this crucial issue – preferably in 2017 – if not before.

Luke Stanley is research assistant at Get Britain Out

22 Responses to “The EU CAP damages developing economies – and ours”

  1. I've Voted YES for Scotland

    The EU certainly is for the rich and corrupted agro business tycoons and landowners.
    It’s basically a fascist bloc run by NAZI Germans from bunkers in Brussels and Berlin.

  2. madasafish

    Godwin’s Law.

  3. sarntcrip

    not worthy of comment

  4. sarntcrip

    the only workers rights worth the name now come from brussels tories scrapped the rest
    leftfoot forwardare now pandering to the uip agenda just like the tories and labour following the murdoch agenda instead of setting their own like leaders dolff need to unite behind labour instead of seeking to fracture opposition to the most right winggovernment this country has ver hsd

  5. Chrisso

    Needs some punctuation. Starter for 10: try Capitals to start each sentence.

  6. Leon Wolfeson

    You torpedo’d your own usual argument. gg.

  7. treborc1

    London, Cardiff, Manchester, is Manchester a capital.

  8. Leon Wolfeson

    The CAP’s been reformed repeatedly, in fact.
    Thanks for the UKIP propaganda though.

    What would make food massively more expensive? Trade barriers to everywhere else, as you want. As you call for a hard block on investment due to uncertainty to make sure that the economy crashes, also reducing people’s ability to find food.

    Your fake indignation is sad, as you refuse to admit what would happen if Britain runs away from the world. You’re clearly to the right of Thatcher, who opposed referendums. (And some on the left are to the left of Atlee, who opposed referendums…I’m a moderate).

  9. Anglo-Scot

    CAP is a good reason to get out of the EU. Also “cohesion funds” – i.e. subsidising infrastructure projects in poorer EU nations. Together, this accounts for 75% of all EU expenditure. This is a scandalous way to spend money when so many in the world live in absolute poverty. The EU has been around for 60 years now and shows no sign of changing its ways to stop feathering its own nest.

  10. Guest

    Ah right, can’t have those markets, after all, as you attack the EU – which includes the UK, as you want much more absolute poverty here by attacking trade.

  11. Anglo-Scot

    You say “I want much more absolute poverty here in the UK by attacking trade” which is something I never said. Not even the most extreme Europhile suggests that leaving the EU will result in absolute poverty in the UK

    Trade happens outside the EU and also between countries within the EU and outside it. European trade existed before the EU and still exists outside the EU. The EU is not essential for trade within Europe.

    The EU has provided a framework for trade between EU member states which has bad consequences for poorer countries outside the EU. One example of this is that the EU subverts the market by subsidising agriculture and infrastructure projects within the EU.

    People in favour of free and fair world trade should reject the EU trade framework.

  12. Anglo-Scot

    We can all set up a spectrum of opinion according to our own parameters, place ourselves in the middle of that spectrum and call ourselves a “moderate”. I’ll do it now.

    People who believe the UK should have nuclear weapons are on the right. People who believe we should have no weapons at all are on the left. People who are against nuclear weapons but believe we should retain conventional weapons are moderate. On this spectrum I am a moderate.

  13. Anglo-Scot

    People are on the left can’t agree to surrender our national sovereignty to the EU because it suits us in this or that area. What about TTIP – this huge transatlantic trade deal which threatens national sovereignty and could expose the NHS to further privatisation? In this respect, the EU is pursuing a neo-liberal free market agenda. We need to repatriate democracy to the UK and slug out these issues here.

  14. Leon Wolfeson

    Relativism in politics is no more than a shift to try and move the Overton Window (look it up!)

    I’ll go with conventional policy analysis.

  15. sarntcrip

    WHAT A LOAD OF RUBBISH IT’S NOT THE EU SCREWING THE MOST VULNERABLE IT IS THE BANKSTERS OF THE CONUKIP PARTYTHE ONLY WORKERS RIGHTS AVAILABLE TO BRITISH WORKERS COME FROM THE EU THE TORIES SCRAPPED THE REST

  16. sarntcrip

    BECAUSE WESTMINSTER HOLYROOD AND THE WELSH AND IRISH ASSEMBLIES RE PURE AS THE DRIVEN SNOW NOT NOT NOT

  17. sarntcrip

    WHY RISK BY FAR OUR BIGGEST MARKET ALL THE MAJOR MANUFACTURERS WILL MOVE TO MAINLAND EUROPE IF WE LEAVE IT WOULD COST 100S OF THOUSANDS OF JOBS AND THEPAYE THAT RESULTS

  18. sarntcrip

    TRY GETTING LOST YOU SANCTIMONIOUS WALLY

  19. Anglo-Scot

    We do need an economic plan to prosper outside the EU. We have a trade surplus of £17bn p.a. with the rest of the world and a £46bn p.a. deficit with the rest of the EU. So the rest of the EU will still need to trade with the UK.

    As for companies upping sticks if we leave the EU, there is no way of knowing what threats will be made and if they will be followed through. I certainly don’t think our democracy should be held to ransom by private industry, who care not one jot if the UK ends up as Quadrant G3 of a European superstate, as long as their bottom line is unaffected.

  20. Anglo-Scot

    If you want, but I’m none the wiser as to how the writer is to the right of Thatcher, how you are supposedly a moderate and in fact if the labels makes any difference anyway.

  21. Leon Wolfeson

    So you didn’t read my post? k.

  22. terry sulivan

    CRAP

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